If you’re in need of a new furnace, the first question on your mind is how much it will cost.
In Buffalo, the cost to install a furnace ranges from $4,820 to $8,615, with most homeowners paying around $5,689 on average.
The cost of your furnace installation will be determined by the following cost factors:
- The fuel type of the furnace
- The size of the furnace
- The efficiency of the furnace
- Adding an extended warranty
- Repairs to ductwork
- Contractor pricing
We’ll explain each of these cost factors in more detail below.
Cost factor #1: The fuel type of the furnace
Furnaces use either natural gas or electricity as a fuel source to provide heat.
In general, gas furnaces cost more to install because they require special ventilation. That said, gas furnaces are cheaper to operate than electric ones. Because natural gas is cheaper than electricity here in Buffalo, you’ll save money in the long run using a gas furnace.
For that reason, we recommend sticking with a gas furnace if you already have one. However, if you only have access to electricity, you may want to stick with an electric furnace because the cost to add gas lines and ventilation can be prohibitively expensive. An HVAC professional can recommend which fuel type is best for your home.
Cost factor #2: The size of the furnace
The larger the furnace, the more it will cost. However, when we refer to the “size” of a furnace, we’re talking about the heating capacity of a unit, not necessarily its physical dimensions.
Furnaces are sized according to their BTU (British Thermal Unit) output, which is a measurement of heat. For context, one BTU is equal to the amount of heat produced by one match.
Most residential furnaces have a heating capacity that ranges from 40,000 to 120,000 BTUs. The higher the BTU output, the more heat the furnace can produce and the more the system will cost.
When you pick out a furnace, you don’t actually get to choose its size. That’s because the size of your furnace depends on several factors specific to your home, such as:
- Your home’s square footage
- The insulation levels in your home
- The number of rooms, doors and windows in your home
- And more
A heating professional will measure all of these factors to calculate what size furnace fits your home.
It’s important to consult with a professional to help you find the right size furnace, otherwise you’ll end up with a system that’s too big or too small for your home.
A furnace that’s too big or too small leads to problems such as:
- Hot and cold spots
- Excessive wear and tear on your equipment
- More frequent repairs
- High energy bills
Cost factor #3: The efficiency of the furnace
The more energy-efficient the furnace, the more expensive it will be. However, energy-efficient furnaces lower your monthly utility costs, which saves you money over time.
The efficiency of a furnace is measured by AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), which is a percentage that shows how much heat the furnace can produce for every dollar of fuel it consumes.
Residential gas furnaces typically range from 80% to 98% AFUE. Electric furnaces can range from 95% to 100% AFUE. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more energy-efficient the furnace.
Let’s compare two furnaces to give you a better understanding of how AFUE works:
- An 80% AFUE gas furnace: With this furnace, for every $100 you spend on heating, $80 goes directly towards heating your home while $20 worth of fuel is wasted.
- A 98% AFUE gas furnace: With this furnace, for every $100 you spend on heating, $98 goes directly towards heating your home while only $2 worth of fuel is wasted.
When it comes to choosing furnace efficiency, you want to strike the right balance between energy savings and your upfront budget. A heating expert can help you determine the potential energy savings of an efficient furnace to see if the higher investment is worth it to you.
Cost factor #4: Adding an extended warranty
Adding an extended warranty will increase the overall cost of your furnace installation, but it will save you money if you face an expensive repair in the future.
You can purchase two types of extended warranties:
- An extended parts warranty
- An extended labor warranty
We’ll go into more detail about each of these warranties below.
Extended parts warranty
New furnaces automatically come with a standard warranty from the manufacturer, often referred to as a limited parts warranty, which usually lasts for 5 years (or 10, if you register your furnace). The heat exchanger—the essential component that actually heats your home’s air—is usually covered for 20 years under a standard warranty.
If a part breaks during the standard warranty period because of a manufacturing error, the manufacturer will cover the cost of a replacement part at no cost to you. That said, you will still be responsible for the cost of labor to repair or replace the faulty part, unless you have a valid labor warranty (more on those below).
Some furnace manufacturers offer an extended parts warranty for an additional upfront fee, which increases the period of warranty coverage.
Extended labor warranty
Most HVAC contractors offer a standard labor warranty that covers the labor costs needed to replace or repair broken parts. Depending on the contractor, a standard labor warranty can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years from the day the furnace is installed.
If you wish to extend the period of coverage, some contractors offer the option of purchasing an extended labor warranty for an additional fee.
On top of an extended labor warranty, some HVAC contractors offer a monthly or annual service membership that can save you money on furnace repairs and maintenance.
Learn more about the benefits of joining a membership by visiting our 5-Star Service Club page.
Cost factor #5: Repairs to ductwork
If your existing ductwork is in poor condition (meaning the ducts are leaky), a contractor will recommend that you repair your ducts before installing a new furnace. Repairing ductwork will increase the overall installation cost, but it will ensure your new furnace will run at its full efficiency and heating capacity.
You see, leaky ducts reduce a furnace’s efficiency and make it harder for your furnace to maintain consistent indoor temperatures. It doesn’t make sense to add a brand new furnace into your home if leaky ductwork will prevent your furnace from operating at its full potential.
Cost factor #6: Contractor pricing
When it comes to hiring a contractor to install your furnace, you generally get what you pay for. Contractors who offer low labor prices sometimes cut corners during the installation, resulting in expensive repairs down the road.
On the other hand, high-quality contractors generally charge more for their installation services, but they do the installation correctly—the first time. A correctly-installed furnace will run at its highest efficiency and run smoothly for years to come.
To ensure you find a high-quality contractor, make sure the company you choose...
- Is licensed and insured
- Offers upfront, free estimates for furnace installations
- Provides guarantees and warranties on the installation
- Performs proper furnace sizing calculations
- Has positive customer reviews on sites like Google and Better Business Bureau
If the contractor meets the criteria above, chances are you will have a good experience working with them and they will do a good job installing your furnace.
Need a new furnace? Call Roy’s for a free estimate
We’ve been a part of the Buffalo community since 1974. Since then, we’ve installed countless furnaces and have received thousands of 5-star customer reviews. When you hire Roy’s to install your furnace, you can count on first-class customer service and upfront prices—without any scary sales tactics.